WHEELING - He may not want to do it, but Democrat Michael Oliverio admits he would vote for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi next January if he is elected to the U.S. House and she is the Democrats' candidate for speaker.
"There will likely be a chance for (Oliverio) to argue about it in caucus," said Oliverio spokesman Randy Coleman, referring to the next House speaker. "But he won't have a choice when it gets to the floor."
"If the Democrats select Pelosi, (Oliverio's) choice is going to be between Pelosi and (Ohio Republican) John Boehner," Coleman continued. "He is going to have to go with his party's candidate."
Oliverio is seeking West Virginia's open 1st Congressional District seat. His opponent is Republican David McKinley of Wheeling.
Coleman said Oliverio's support of Pelosi doesn't come easy.
"He has said before he is not comfortable with much of Nancy Pelosi's politics, or with the direction the administration is going," Coleman said of Oliverio.
But if the Democrats retain control of the House, Oliverio "will support his party," Coleman said.
Coleman said he doesn't believe Democrats will select another candidate for speaker while in caucus. However, contrary to Oliverio's position, a handful of Democrats, such as U.S. Rep. Bobby Bright, D-Ala., have said they won't support Pelosi if Democrats retain control of the House.
"There's always a chance, but the likelihood of that is something different," Coleman said.
McKinley had a different take on Oliverio's support of Pelosi. "Mike Oliverio's unwavering support for Nancy Pelosi and her shepherding of Obama's government takeover of health care is what this campaign for Congress is all about," McKinley said. "From day one I have emphasized that my very first vote in the U.S. House will be to turn out Ms. Pelosi and her job-killing Capitol Hill agenda. Mike Oliverio has been bankrolled by the Obama-Pelosi team. They stand for all that is broken in Washington."